Josephus was born in Jerusalem (Judaea) in about AD 37. Josephus commanded Jewish forces against the Romans in Galilee. However, after surrendering to the Romans he was immediately released and granted permission to stay and observe the rest of the war.

At the siege of Jerusalem, Josephus pleaded with the Jewish forces to surrender to the Romans.

After the war Josephus went to live in Rome where he was given a pension and granted Roman citizenship. Josephus now became a historian and in his book, The Jewish War he was extremely critical of the Zealots who resisted Roman rule. Other books that he wrote on Jewish history were also very pro-Roman.

Josephus died in about AD 95.

Primary Sources

(1) Josephus, The Jewish War (c. AD 75)

We have actually had so-called histories even of our recent war published by persons who never visited the sites nor were anywhere near the actions described, but, having put together a few rumours have called their books history... I have written a detailed account of the war, having been present in person at all the events.

(2) Josephus, The Jewish War (c. AD 75)

Those who perished in the long siege totalled 1,000,000... Some killed by their own hand... but most by starvation. So foul a stench of human flesh greeted those who charged in that many turned back at once. Others were so greedy that they pushed on, climbing over the piles of corpses; for many valuables were found in the passages... Every man who showed himself was either killed or captured by the Romans, and then those in the sewers were ferreted out... Simon (the leader of the Jewish army) was kept for the triumphal procession and ultimate execution. The Romans now fired the outlying districts of the town and demolished the walls. So fell Jerusalem... captured five times before and now for the second time laid utterly waste.